So you’ve heard speaking is a great way to build your business and attract new clients. But how do you even get started?
I know from personal experience how daunting it can be to hear “just get out there and speak” when you’re not even clear where to begin. So in this article I share with you my best tips for taking those critical first steps.
First of all, why even speak?
Simple answer: Because you’re seen as an EXPERT when you speak, and it’s the easiest way to demonstrate the value you can add to someone’s life.
(I remember the first time I was a roundtable presenter at a women’s conference and how I walked away from that event feeling like an expert. It was the perfect confidence-builder in those early days of getting started.)
So here are some simple steps for you:
1) Choose your hot topic.
The first step to launch yourself into speaking is to come up with a “hot topic” that gets the attention of your ideal clients. Ideally, it’s a problem that your clients regularly struggle with and that your services help them solve.
Brainstorm possible topics by asking yourself these questions:
– What is it my clients don’t know how to do?
– Where do my clients get stuck?
– What disempowers them?
– Which specific situations cause them the biggest problem?
2) Create a clear, captivating title for your talk.
Don’t try and be clever or cutesy with your title. You want to use clear language with lots of BENEFIT words and phrases.
For example, if you’re a relationship coach or therapist, your title might be “How to Put the Romance Back in Your Marriage.”
Or if you’re a health & wellness expert targeting women over 50, a possible talk title could be “5 Ways to Balance Your Hormones Naturally So You Can Sleep Soundly Each Night.”
Here are a few easy formulas you can use to create your captivating title:
“How to ______________ so you can ________________”
“How to ______________ in # Simple Steps”
“# Secrets/Keys/Steps/Strategies to_________________”
3) Make a list of ALL the possible places you could speak.
The key when you’re just getting started is to draw upon audience members that are already in existence, so you don’t have to do all the work to rent a space and promote the event.
Start by brainstorming and create a list of groups, organizations and businesses that your ideal clients are already part of.
For example, if you work primarily with women entrepreneurs such as I do, you’ll want to list out places where these types of women gather. Do an online search for “women’s networking.” Check out local Meetups, civic organizations and entrepreneurial groups.
Play the “who do I know” game and get creative here! In addition to speaking in more traditional settings, I’ve spoken at a chiropractor’s office, a women’s workout studio, and even a hair salon once!
Bonus Tip: Let your friends and colleagues know you are looking for places to speak, and ask for referrals.
4) Smile and dial!
Now that you have your list, prioritize the top 5 places where you’d like to speak and start calling them. Do a little research on the group before you call, so you’re prepared with how your talk would fit in with the group’s goals and mission.
Much of the time you’ll be leaving a voicemail, so leave a brief, friendly message and then a critical step is to follow up with an email.
Here’s a simple script you can use when you get someone live (you can modify it when leaving a message):
Hi, this is [Your Name]. I’m a [your title], and I’d love to chat with you about the possibility of speaking for your [group, organization]. I offer a phenomenal presentation on [your hot topic] where I help participants [briefly state 2-3 benefits of your talk]. How does that sound?
The most important step here is to make the call!
Invaluable Bonus Tip: Get regular speaking practice by joining Toastmasters or a weekly networking group such as BNI or Team Referral.
Add your comments or questions below about how to use speaking to grow your business. And send me an email to let me know how it goes for you.
Enjoy speaking your way to getting wonderful new clients now!
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